Name of Movie: Race
Oh well, what can I say. I was warned by Phoenix and Meetu about Race; but I seem to be an incorrigible glutton for punishment and went to see it even though I had reservations earlier. Off course I can say that my better-half heard wonderful things about the movie and forced me to go for it; but I won’t take that stand. As Osho had so wonderfully paraphrased – “A mistake does not happen to a person just like that. A person does any act fully knowing that he could have refused it, but still ends up doing it because he really wanted to do it in the first place. Any blame that he puts on others is just an excuse that he finds for committing his mistake.”
Anyway, coming to the movie. The word race means a competition. So true to the word, we have wonderful examples of competition:
- There are two brothers who are constantly trying to win the Race of Life (Pl don’t ask me what that means!)
- The leading ladies are in a competition of who wears the shorter skirts and deeper necklines. (Bipasha wins that skirt down..sorry..hands down)
- The choreographer is in a competition with himself on how make the next song more mundane than the previous one. (He succeeds all the time)
- Anil Kapoor is in competition with Dada Kondke on how vulgar can one be. (The jury is still out on this one but the scales are tilted towards Anil)
In the backdrop of all this, there are plenty of twists that would put even Biswajeet uncle to shame. In between the twists there is an attempt to have some semblance of a storyline somewhere. There is an insurance angle thrown in somewhere; a juvenile delinquent angle; couple of sham marriages; one horny police investigator; one cuckoo police asst.; one cuckoo marriage lawyer; everybody who are crossing and double crossing and triple crossing; all of which result in making the audience cuckoo.
As it’s a thriller, there are plenty of attempts to kill. The most notable killing being the way the choreographer mercilessly butchers the song “Pehli Nazar Main”. There also some scary moments. (The Akshaye Khanna shirtless scene still gives me the shivers – man that was some sight !)
Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna take turns at playing the diabolique evil geniuses. They don’t have to work hard at it. Saif looks sleek and cunning throughout the movie and Akshaye Khanna keeps looking bloated throughout the movie. Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif don’t have much to do except ensure that their thighs are toned enough for the camera. Sameera Reddy keeps looking dumb and has the tough job of keeping a straight face when Anil Kapoor spews corny dialogues and feels her up. (I am NOT making this up !) Finally Anil Kapoor is in a role of a wannabe Jhakaas Jackass character and he more than succeeds in convincing us that he’s a certified Jackass.
The dialogues aren’t anything much to right home about. Saif Ali intones “Jho hasta hai sabse pehle marta hai” and is supposed to strike fear in the audiences’ mind who is incidentally trying to suppress laughter at this ridiculous dialogue. And the less that I talk about the lines that Anil Kapoor’s given the better. Akshaye Khanna acts like a toddler who lost candy to his elder brother and is trying to snatch it back.
The only saving graces are the superb camerawork by cinematographer Ravi Yadav and some good action sequences by Alan Amin. The locales are beautifully portrayed and you do wish at times that the annoying dancers move out of the frame so as to enjoy the scenery better. The race sequence in the climax is quite pulsating. Saif Ali Khan amazingly pulls off drifting in the absence of brakes. God bless him for that. The background sound is adequate and the editing is pretty crisp.
Abbas-Mustan are known for knowing the audiences’ pulse. They give ample evidence of that in Race. The moment they feel that the audience is beginning to enjoy the proceedings they promptly butt in with a song to spoil their mood. Remember the Baazigar theme – “Harke bhi jeetne wale ko Baazigar kehte hai”. Well there are shades of that theme in Race. But only shades. This movie makes you remember Baazigar wistfully and wonder where did that Abbas-Mustan go to. Did they die in the bid make all out commercial movies or is the old Abbas-Mustan lurking somewhere around the corner. Race is actually an entertaining movie which you will enjoy if you leave your brains out and if you are convinced that the makers also didn’t use their brains either.